A Frosty Sugarloaf Hill - Kamloops Trails

A Frosty Sugarloaf Hill – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  December 14, 2019 at 8:58 am

We hike Sugarloaf Hill most years in the late fall, well after grazing season when there is no one in the area.   In late November on a grey, “socked-in” day, we followed a double track from the north to the base of the summit hill, then followed a faint single track to the top.  We were in the fog at the bottom, in a hoarfrost zone halfway up, then at the top, the sun shone through shreds of clouds.   We went straight down on the way back, enjoying the frosty forest, to complete a 7.5 km hike.



On the way up the hill we passed by a pond with a thin layer of ice and frosted vegetation all around.



Frost covered all the trees, shrubs, grasses, and plants of the zone.   Hoar frost occurs in conditions when gaseous water forms as white ice crystals on objects (like leaves, needles, stems, branches, etc.) that become colder overnight than the air that surrounds it,


Wild asparagus (and berries) were coated in an icy shells of crystals.



Near the summit of the hill, the first rays of sunshine broke through the low-lying fog layers, starting to melt the frost on south-facing exposures.


We had lunch on top of the hill and blue sky was visible in patches overhead.



Poking out above the fog layer was Chuwhels Mountain, 15 km to the southwest ( a bearing of 221 degrees TN).



We followed the single track down the last steep slope, then continued due north through the forest.   At one point we broke out of the cloud to see the top area of the hill above, a welcome reprieve from the grey frosted forest.



The last section of the hike dropped back into the foggy forest, but there was a band of open fir forest before the final section through the grasslands and sagebrush below.


There are no “technicolor” views on the Sugarloaf Hill hike, but when the frosts and mists hit the hill before the snows blanket the area, this is a fine route.   We will return to do the hike again in the late fall next year.




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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at: http://www.kamloopstrails.net/

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